In its latest assessment of the war in Ukraine, published on Monday night, the US think tank wrote: “Ukrainian forces continued to make substantial gains around Lyman and in Kherson Oblast in the last 48 hours.”
The ISW added: “Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Ukrainian troops made significant breakthroughs in northern Kherson Oblast between October 2 and 3.”
Moreover, “geolocated footage corroborates Russian claims that Ukrainian troops are continuing to push east of Lyman and may have broken through the Luhansk Oblast border in the direction of Kreminna,” along the Oskil River-Kreminna line, the US experts said.
Russia’s most elite forces ‘becoming degraded’
According to the Washington-based think tank, the Russian groupings defeated in the northern part of the Kherson region and on the Lyman front “were largely comprised of units that had been regarded as among Russia’s premier conventional fighting forces before the war.”
Specifically, “elements of the 144th Motorised Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army reportedly withdrew from Lyman to rear positions near Kreminna before October 2,” the ISW said.
It added that, according to Russian sources, “elements of the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV), especially the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, are active in Kherson Oblast.”
The US analysts noted that both the 144th Motorised Rifle Division and the 76th Guards Air Assault Division “were previously lauded as some of Russia’s most elite forces.”
Their apparent failure to hold territory against major Ukrainian counter-offensive actions is consistent with a previous assessment that "even the most elite Russian military forces are becoming increasingly degraded as the war continues,” the ISW said.
The US think tank added that this "was also visible in the collapse of the 4th Tank Division of the 1st Guards Tank Army earlier in the Kharkiv counter-offensive.”
All of Kharkiv region retaken by Ukraine?
Meanwhile, Mateusz Lachowski, Ukraine war correspondent for Polish broadcaster Polsat News, tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday: “According to my information, the entire Kharkiv region is back under Ukrainian control.”
“Three sources - one public, two private,” he added.
Russia moves units from Siberia, Syria to Ukraine?
Ukraine’s General Staff said on Tuesday that Russia’s military leaders had decided to "strengthen their force" in Ukraine with National Guard units from Siberia and the Russian military contingent from Syria, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Ukraine’s military command wrote on Facebook: “According to available information, the military leadership of the armed forces of the russian federation made a decision to transfer to the area of hostilities the units of the russian guard troops based in the administrative boundaries of the Siberian Military District and the contingent of russian troops in Syria.”
Tuesday is day 223 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: understandingwar.org, PAP, pravda.com.ua, facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua